Is Day Trading a Sin?
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Is Day Trading a Sin?

Day trading, the practice of buying and selling financial instruments within the same trading day to profit from small price movements, has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, many Christians wonder if day trading aligns with Biblical principles or if it is a sin. As day trading continues to grow, it is an important question for Christians to consider carefully.


Day trading seems appealing because it offers the potential to earn significant profits in a short period of time. With the rise of retail trading platforms and the ability to trade from anywhere using a smartphone, day trading is more accessible than ever. However, Christians must discern if certain elements of day trading contradict Biblical principles.

There are a few key factors to consider when evaluating if day trading is a sin:

  • Motivations and heart behind day trading
  • Level of risk and potential for greed or materialism
  • Amount of time and energy day trading consumes
  • Impact on relationships and stewardship obligations

This article will dive into each of these areas in detail and examine relevant Bible verses. We’ll also consider perspectives from respected Christian financial leaders. My goal is to provide a balanced, Biblically-grounded analysis to help Christians decide if day trading aligns with their faith.

Motivations and Heart Behind Day Trading

Our motivations and the desires of our heart underpin every decision we make, for “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV). Therefore, the first question to ask is why we want to day trade.

Wrong Motivations

If our motive is simply greed or the pursuit of riches, day trading could feed sinful desires. The Bible warns against causing harm in the pursuit of money:

“Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.” (Proverbs 22:16 ESV)

“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” (1 Timothy 6:9)

The motivation of greed often leads to coveting more than we need:

“Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

Simply desiring more wealth through day trading is not a God-honoring motivation.

Right Motivations

However, the motivation to provide for one’s family financially is noble.

“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8)

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Day trading morally aligns with providing for one’s family if done with the right heart and motives.

Our heart attitude and motivations determine whether day trading is sinful. With pure motivations day trading can be profitable and still honor God. But we must guard our hearts against greed or the love of money. As the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

Level of Risk and Potential for Greed

Beyond motivations, we must consider the level of risk and potential for greed in day trading. These factors can also make day trading sinful in God’s eyes.

Caution Against Guaranteed Riches

Some promoters pitch day trading as a guaranteed path to riches. However, the Bible tells us:

“Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:4-5)

While day trading can be profitable when done wisely, there are no guarantees. We must approach it with realistic expectations.

Further, we are called to find contentment and thankfulness for God’s provision rather than constantly desiring more:

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5)

The endless pursuit of riches through speculative investing contradicts living a content life. We should also consider how much we truly need versus always wanting more.

Caution Against Loving Money

Additionally, while some risk is necessary in day trading, excessive risk could mean we are putting money before God. We must strike a wise balance between risk and good stewardship. As 1 Timothy 6:10 reminds us:

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.”

The Bible praises hard work, pursuit of excellence, and enjoying the fruits of our labor. But the obsessive pursuit of riches can lead us into greed and evil. Christians should thoughtfully limit risk to what aligns with God’s principles of wise stewardship.

Amount of Time and Energy Consumed

A third factor to weigh is the amount of time and energy day trading could consume. While diligence and hard work are virtues, an obsessive fixation on day trading may violate other priorities.

Neglect of Responsibilities

Excessive time spent on day trading may cause us to neglect family, church, or work duties. This contradicts Biblical principles of stewardship.

“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8)

As Christians, we have a duty to responsibly care for our families and commitments. Our efforts should align with our primary calling from God, not undermine it.

Issues of Busyness and Anxiety

Additionally, an unhealthy fixation on day trading may violate Jesus’ teaching on busyness and anxiety:

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25)

In our pursuit of profit, we can easily become overoccupied and worried about money. But Jesus reminds us to keep our focus on the eternal rather than earthly riches.

Impact on Relationships and Stewardship

A final factor that determines if day trading is sinful is its impact on relationships and stewardship obligations. Do we maintain a God-honoring balance?

Avoiding Selfish Ambition

While providing for one’s family financially is good, becoming consumed with profit above all else reflects selfish ambition that the Bible condemns:

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)

If day trading distracts from caring for others or building relationships, it violates Christian principles. We should ensure it does not negatively impact being devoted family members, church brothers and sisters, or friends to those in need.

Responsible Stewardship

Further, Christians have a duty to practice responsible stewardship and generosity with our finances:

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV)

While day trading for profit itself is not wrong, we must ensure it does not compromise giving to church, charity, or caring for others in need. If we become obsessed with profits for ourselves, we may neglect larger stewardship obligations.

Perspectives from Christian Financial Leaders

Beyond personal analysis, it is wise to consider perspectives from trusted Christian financial leaders when discerning if day trading is sinful. Here are a few insights:

Dave Ramsey

In his book The Money Answer Book, popular financial expert Dave Ramsey advises:

“My advice would be to avoid day trading. The odds are stacked against you building wealth through day trading. Instead, focus on investing for the long term in good growth stock mutual funds.”

Ramsey cautions against obsessive pursuit of speculative profits, which aligns with Biblical principles of patience, discipline, and wise stewardship.

Crown Financial Ministries

The respected Christian financial ministry Crown cautions:

“Day trading inherently comes with major risks that contradict principles of stewardship. While we do not declare it inherently sinful, Christians should prayerfully consider if its risks align with their faith.”

Crown insightfully notes day trading is not definitively sinful but requires thorough spiritual examination.

Larry Burkett

In his guide Business by the Book, the late Larry Burkett wrote:

“Day trading often reflects greed and a restless pursuit of more riches. While trading wisely can be ethical, Christians should ensure proper motives and stewardship.”

Burkett wisely examines the heart motives and stewardship principles behind day trading.

Key Takeaways: Is Day Trading a Sin?

In summary, here are key Biblical principles for Christians to consider when evaluating if day trading is a sin:

  • Motivations matter tremendously. Pursuing day trading out of greed, covetousness or discontentment violates Biblical principles. But doing so to morally provide for one’s family can be justified. We must examine our hearts.
  • While some risk is justified, excessive speculation or reckless practices fueled by quick riches contradict the Bible’s emphasis on discipline and wise stewardship.
  • Obsessively consuming all time and energy to pursue profits through day trading can lead us to neglect family, church, charity and other stewardship obligations which God cares about.
  • If day trading distracts from relationships, caring for others, generosity, or wise stewardship, it contradicts core Christian values. We must maintain proper balance and priorities.

Based on these Biblical principles, day trading done with pure motivations, reasonable risk, proper priorities, and responsible stewardship is justifiable. But done to excess or fueled by greed, it clearly violates Christian values. As in all areas of life, our motives and stewardship determine whether an activity is sinful or honoring to God.


Day trading itself is not definitively labeled a sin in scripture. With the rise of mobile trading apps, it is increasingly popular in society today. Christians should thoughtfully and prayerfully evaluate how day trading may either align with or violate core Biblical values. There are dangers of greed and obsession with earthly riches. But practiced wisely, day trading can be done to the glory of God. As Christians, we must each listen to the Holy Spirit and evaluate day trading carefully against the principles outlined above. There is freedom in Christ, but we must ensure our actions honor Him.

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.